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Province providing $5 million for Columbia Motor Inn purchase, renovation

ASK Wellness will continue to use the motel as transitional housing for homeless
Columbia Motor Inn at 575 Columbia St.


The provincial government is helping the Ask Wellness Society purchase a former Columbia Street motel to help people transitioning out of homelessness in Kamloops.

On Monday, July 10, B.C.’s Minister of Housing Ravi Kahlon announced the province is sending ASK $2.5 million to help finance the purchase of the Columbia Motor Inn at 575 Columbia St.

“With this purchase, we are making sure that more vulnerable people in Kamloops transitioning to permanent housing continue to have affordable options to rely on,” Kahlon said in a press release.

The former motel has been operated by ASK since 2018 to help house marginalized individuals, providing subsidized units for people who are transitioning from shelters or supportive housing and who are able to live independently.

The two-storey, wood-frame building consists of 24 self-contained studio units, a laundry area and on-site parking.

The building will also need renovations to meet the needs and requirements of the tenants, ensure the site adheres to design and safety specifications of BC Housing, and to extend the life of the building another 40 years.

To that end, BC Housing is also investing another $2.7 million for necessary renovations, municipal fees and contingency costs.

ASK will own and operate the building and will continue to receive its ongoing operating funding of $250,000 from BC Housing.

ASK CEO Bob Hughes said forward to renovations as they will allow for the building to become a more inclusive, welcoming space for its residents and the community.